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How Much Does a Clinical Psychologist Make?

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Clinical psychologists treat clients who suffer from mental illnesses, from mild anxiety to serious cognitive disorders. Clients range from children to elderly adults and include individuals, couples, families and other groups. These professionals assess disorders through psychological testing and counseling, and provide therapies that help clients function normally. It’s an in-demand field, with job opportunities expected to increase by 15 percent between 2018 and 2028. That’s 10 percent faster than the projected overall growth for all U.S. occupations.

We’ll look at how much clinical psychologists earn, including their average salaries by state and years of experience. But let’s first consider your graduate degree options in clinical psychology, and how this decision also affects your future salary.

Clinical Psychology Education Requirements

After earning a bachelor’s in psychology degree as an undergraduate, you’ll need a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. A doctorate in this field involves rigorous course loads, and requires both a dissertation and a clinical internship. Here you have the choice between two degree programs in clinical psychology – each emphasizing a different area of the field. If clinical psychology theory and research is what interests you, pursue the doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree. But if you plan to work directly with clients in clinical practice, choose the doctor of psychology (PsyD) degree.

Within these programs, you may specialize further based on the kinds of cases you want to handle. Although offerings will vary according to your school and program, here are some possible areas of focus:

  • Clinical health psychology
  • Family/child and couple psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Integrative psychology
  • Multicultural psychology
  • Psychodynamic psychology
  • Trauma, stress, resilience and health psychology

Does one doctoral degree earn you a higher salary than the other? Actually, it does. In 2019 the average clinical psychology salary with PhD degree was $89,000. Meanwhile, clinical psychologists with PsyD degrees earned an average annual salary of $77,000. However, many of those professionals would agree that the $12,000 difference matters little if you’re doing what interests you.

Clinical Psychology Salary

As with any career, salaries in a particular industry vary widely from place to place. In looking at the estimated clinical psychology salary by state, remember that a number of factors affect it. Cost of living, industry demand, education and work experience all help determine salaries in a given location. Below are 2018 salary ranges in each state for clinical, counseling and school psychologists. This list of states (plus the District of Columbia) is ordered from highest to lowest median salary for those professionals:

Location

Low salary

Median salary

High salary

California 

$55,040

$100,850

$158,280

Oregon

$55,470

$89,150

$151,320

Connecticut

$56,670

$88,890

$129,740

New York

$52,590

$88,710

$133,580

Rhode Island

$37,090

$86,370

$127,020

New Jersey

$56,120

$85,160

$150,000

District of Columbia

$54,270

$84,780

$167,950

Alaska

$37,110

$84,740

$180,120

Minnesota

$47,670

$84,630

$129,230

Colorado

$42,150

$84,410

$128,870

North Dakota

$43,490

$83,730

$128,520

Massachusetts

$48,710

$79,810

$131,350

Maryland

$42,830

$78,980

$118,300

Iowa

$52,020

$78,810

$132,300

Hawaii

$47,210

$78,440

$164,620

Nevada

$53,670

$77,200

$112,440

Wisconsin

$50,480

$77,090

$125,130

Michigan

$46,590

$75,340

$127,360

Pennsylvania

$48,320

$74,930

$116,370

Delaware

$47,450

$74,390

$101,800

Wyoming

$43,970

$74,350

$103,800

Virginia

$36,570

$73,930

$124,240

New Hampshire

$49,120

$73,840

$123,970

Ohio

$38,630

$72,930

$106,650

Maine

$49,870

$72,200

$105,950

Washington

$45,440

$71,670

$101,960

Illinois

$36,400

$71,340

$112,820

Georgia

$32,500

$71,200

$151,140

Utah

$37,370

$70,740

$132,630

Florida

$39,440

$69,650

$123,580

South Dakota

$54,080

$68,780

$102,080

Nebraska

$32,700

$67,060

$103,250

New Mexico

$43,690

$66,810

$114,720

Idaho

$27,510

$66,140

$93,940

Texas

$43,210

$66,070

$100,000

Missouri

$37,600

$65,890

$125,910

Tennessee

$40,490

$64,330

$98,130

Indiana

$38,910

$63,540

$126,890

Louisiana

$41,150

$63,540

$141,670

North Carolina

$44,900

$62,470

$119,960

Arkansas

$41,530

$62,200

$94,050

Arizona

$35,730

$61,500

$98,560

South Carolina

$29,530

$61,030

$96,640

Vermont

$40,000

$60,590

$126,030

Montana

$38,310

$60,540

$100,300

Alabama

$41,930

$60,370

$97,010

Kentucky

$29,830

$59,300

$99,250

Kansas

$30,430

$58,900

$97,110

Mississippi

$40,560

$57,780

$127,990

West Virginia

$27,350

$50,890

$108,790

Oklahoma

$33,950

$49,830

$110,960

(Source: “Salary Finder,” CareerOneStop)

Clinical Psychology Salary by Experience

As the state-by-state salary chart shows, how much you earn working in the field of psychology can vary widely even within a single state. Part of this variance is based on how many years of experience you’ve had as a licensed clinical psychologist. Payscale reports the following average clinical psychology salaries according to work experience:

  • Less than 1 year: $68,000
  • 1 to 4 years: $73,000
  • 5 to 9 years: $81,000
  • 10 to 19 years: $90,000
  • 20+ years: $92,000

Whether you are looking to get your master's degree or a doctorate degree, Alliant University offers a number of different programs for any future psychologist. Alliant International University can provide you the education and experience you need for licensure as a licensed clinical psychologist. Alliant’s California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) offers APA-approved clinical psychology programs for both PhD and PsyD degrees. Request more information online or speak with an Alliant representative at (866) 679-3032.

Sources

  1. “Psychologists: Job Outlook,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists…
  2. “Doctorate in Psychology Salary: PsyD vs. PhD,” Study.com, https://study.com/articles/doctorate_in_psychology_salary_psyd_vs_phd.h…
  3. “Salary Finder,” CareerOneStop, https://www.careeronestop.org/Toolkit/Wages/find-salary.aspx?keyword=Cl…
  4. “Clinical Psychologist Salary,” Payscale, https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Clinical_Psychologist/Salary
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